John E.W. (Jack) Bonebrake, son of Rollo and Ruth (Wilson) Bonebrake, was born November 19, 1918 at the family home in Diagonal, Iowa. He was welcomed by his older sister, Lyla, and older brother, Corwin, and later they all welcomed their brother, Ronald.
He received his elementary and high school education in Diagonal, graduating with the class of 1936. He worked at the Diagonal Reporter while in high school and learned the printing trade. After graduation he worked at the Mount Ayr Record-News.
Jack was united in marriage to Lila Rose Drake on April 12, 1941 at the residence of the Presbyterian minister in Diagonal. They were blessed to celebrate 70 years of marriage. Two children were born to this union, first Donald Wayne and four and one-half years later, Sue Ellen.
After their marriage, Jack and Lila lived in Mount Ayr, Iowa. On June 13, 1942, he began serving in the U.S. Army during World War II. He served for three and one-half years with 18 months in Europe as an airplane mechanic. He was discharged from service on October 2, 1945. His son was born while he was overseas so he saw him for the first time the day after his first birthday. The family then lived in several locations in Iowa before moving to Indianola, Iowa in 1960. Through the years, he owned two newspapers and was employed at several newspapers. His last employment was at Bradley Printing in Des Moines for nine years before retiring in 1984. Lila also retired from the Warren County Abstract Company in 1984 and they moved back to live in Mount Ayr. He continued to keep busy by working on projects as they were needed. He enjoyed sports, playing cards, going fishing and visiting with family and friends.
He was a member of the American Legion Ringgold Post #172, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Mount Ayr United Baptist-Presbyterian Church.
Jack passed away on December 30, 2011 at Clearview Home in Mount Ayr. He was preceded in death by his parents, Rollo and Ruth Bonebrake; his brother, Corwin Bonebrake and wife Hazel, and brother, Ronald Bonebrake.
Left to cherish his memory include his wife, Lila of Mount Ayr, Iowa; his son, Donald Bonebrake of Mount Ayr, Iowa; his daughter, Sue Ellen Levich and husband Michael of Tampa, Florida; his sister, Lyla Enabnit of Hudson, Florida; his sister-in-law, Peggy Bonebrake of Council Bluffs, Iowa, and other relatives and friends.
A memorial fund has been established in his name to be decided later.
Services were conducted at Watson-Armstrong Funeral Home in Mount Ayr on Wednesday, January 4, 2012, with Rev. Mike Maddy officiating. Musicians included Nancy Sackett and Terry Roberts.
Casket bearers included Jim Werner, Dean Blades, Dean Frost, Norman Klejch, Roland Buck and Gerald Cannon.
Military Rites were by Ringgold Post #172 American Legion and the Iowa Honor Guard Unit.
Burial was in the Bohemian Cemetery in Diagonal.